The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a special session of the Madhya Pradesh assembly, saying that “burning issues” need to be discussed and stoking speculation that the party may put pressure on the ruling Congress coalition’s slim majority in the House.
The development comes a day after most exit polls predicted a big win for the BJP in the heartland state that has 29 Lok Sabha seats. The Congress-led coalition government has a majority of six in the 230-member assembly.
In a letter to governor Anandiben Patel dated May 20, a copy of which was seen by HT, leader of the Opposition Gopal Bhargava demanded a special session to discuss issues such as water scarcity, law and order, kinks in the farm loan waiver and delivery of welfare schemes. The letter made no mention of a floor test.
But speaking to reporters, Bhargava said the party may also push for a floor test “if the need arose”.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath Monday said he was prepared to go for floor test and claimed that he had proven majority of his coalition government “four times” in the last five months. “I have already told them…The BJP is trying it for long. I have proved majority in the House four times in the last five months and I am ready for floor test again,” Nath told PTI.
“The exit polls have shown the Congress has lost its mandate and in any case, the government is in minority. The election (Lok Sabha) was to elect Narendra Modi as the prime minister, but it was also was a referendum on the work done by the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the last six months…there are several burning issues that need to be discussed and the assembly is the best place. If the need arises we will have a floor test during the discussion,” Bhargava said.
Separately, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also asked Nath to take moral responsibility after the exit polls were broadcast. The Congress ousted the BJP after 15 years in assembly polls last December, winning 114 seats to the saffron party’s 109. Nath became the chief minister with the support of four independents, two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and one Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA.
The Congress dismissed the demand. “There is no precedence that discussion should be held on Lok Sabha results in the state assembly. There is no crisis in the state that needs urgent discussion. Also during the election of the speaker, we have proved our majority, so the government is not in a minority,”Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said.
Former principal secretary of the state assembly, Bhagwandev Israni, said, “Such a demand is ridiculous and holds no water legally.”
May 20, 2019 23:43 IST
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